Monday, September 26, 2011

Wild Frontiers 9-Nt India Toura



Dreaming of this vibrant, fascinating country? It's closer than you think. In just 10 days the professionals at Wild Frontiers (and their on-the-ground, English-speaking guides) will take you through classic India. Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan, Jaipur and Bundi are all on the itinerary of this whirlwind expedition — as is the crown jewel of any bucket-list trip to India: the Taj Mahal. Although packed with enough authentic experiences to fill a bookshelf full of photo albums, the trip also leaves time for simply taking it all in.
  
Day 1: Arrival & Tour Old Town
The tour starts in Delhi, India’s capital city. After arrival you’ll go on a guided tour of Old Delhi, including a walk along the main thoroughfare, where shops sell everything from wedding saris and bangles to pots and pans. Quieter alleyways lead to spice markets and ornate townhouses. Enjoy dinner at Karim’s, a famous neighborhood restaurant. Overnight at Claridges Hotel; dinner included.
 
Day 2: To Agra
After breakfast, an air-conditioned car will take you to Agra (a 5-hour drive). Upon arrival, you’ll tour the riverside Agra Fort, which contains exquisite palaces carved in red sandstone, a perfect counterpoint to the white marble of the Taj Mahal — which you will visit at sunset when the stone turns a delicate pink. Overnight at Trident Hotel; breakfast included.
 
Day 3: Fatehpur Sikri  
On Day 3, visit the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri, built by a great Mughal emperor. Visit the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri, built by the great Mughal emperor Akbar as his capital in 1571 but abandoned just 14 years later because of water shortages. After the tour, board a train to Gangapur, the closest city to storybook Ramathra Fort, deep in the countryside. Owners Ravi and Gitanjali Rajpal will act as your hosts for two nights, and all meals except one are included; choose from mild meat and vegetable curries, rice, local breads and puddings made from secret family recipes. Overnight at Ramathra Fort; breakfast and dinner included. 

Day 4: Ramathra Fort
The Ramathra Fort creates an air of intimacy and comfort, so sleep in a bit in your airy suite in the lovingly restored main building, then join the party for breakfast. Your hosts will organize a guided village walk, a rare chance to see how daily life in India is lived. The afternoon is spent on a boat ride on the lake, where you could spot colorful birds. Overnight at Ramathra Fort; breakfast, lunch and dinner included. 

Day 5: To Rajasthan
 An air-conditioned car will transfer you to Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, where the old sandstone buildings turn to pink as the sun sets (earning the nickname “Pink City”). After the 4-hour journey, stretch your legs during a guided tour of the bazaars and the Palace of Winds (which has 953 intricately carved stone windows) and the 18th-century observatory. You will spend 2 nights at Samode Haveli, the former townhouse of the princely Samode family. It oozes charm and character with frescoes, pretty courtyards and a peaceful garden — a sanctuary from the busy city streets.Overnight at Samode Haveli; breakfast included.
 
Day 6: Balloon Ride in Jaipur 
The highlight might well be the balloon ride you’ll take today, during which you’ll get bird's-eye views of the 16th-century fort at Amber, outside Jaipur (you can choose to ride to the launch point via elephant, which only adds to the experience). The entire city will spread out before you, offering the photo opportunity of a lifetime. Afterward, head to the markets to partake in some of Jaipur’s renowned shopping. Bargain hard for cashmere shawls and handmade rugs. Overnight at Samode Haveli; breakfast included. 

Day 7: To Bundi
It's a 5-hour drive south through hilly countryside to Bundi (my favorite town in all of Rajasthan). It’s like visiting Jaipur a century ago: Every house is painted blue, and the town spreads out from a vast palace mirrored in a lake. During a guided walk, take in the quiet city streets, which are full of interesting shops, from silversmiths to banglemakers, and welcoming cafés. You will stay in a restored haveli mansion built against the fort walls. The owners here know exactly what Westerners like: kingsize beds, powerful showers, WiFi access and rooftop dining. Overnight at Bundi Vilas; breakfast included. 

Day 8: Tour the Royal Palace
After breakfast, embark on a tour of Bundi’s royal palace, which contains some of the finest murals in India: processions of hundreds of horses and riders, each with a different face; amusing scenes from courtly life; and trees, flowers and wading birds. Afterward, visit a local family to learn the secrets of Indian cooking and see the lakeside palace where Rudyard Kipling once stayed. Then, enjoy some free time to explore the bazaars; ask your guide to direct you to the studio of Gopal Soni, a miniature painter, who uses squirrel-hair brushes to make copies of the palace paintings on paper. Overnight at Bundi Vilas; breakfast included.
 
Day 9: Back to Delhi
Board the train bound to Delhi on the main line and transfer to Claridges Hotel for your final night. If you have time, visit the government-run Central Cottage Industries Emporium — a short taxi ride from the hotel — where you can pick up inexpensive shawls, wood carvings and miniature paintings bought direct from the artisan makers. Overnight at Claridges Hotel; breakfast included.
 
Day 10: Departure

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1 comment:

  1. Rajasthan is the most colorful region in India exhibiting splendor and royalty in every walk of life. It is truly said "a land of valiance and chivalry ", which is endowed with invincible forts, magnificent palaces, waves of sand dunes and serene lakes. No other region in the country assembles as many paradoxes of India as does the desert land of Rajasthan.
    Rajasthan holiday packages

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